IAG JANUARY 2015 - page 42

Crown, EchoUnveil
LavishPlans forBrisbane
Australian rivals Crown Resorts and Echo Entertainment have
unveiled their competingplans for themuchanticipatednewsuper-
resort headed for downtownBrisbane.
TheQueensland government has released the final “integrated
resort development” designs from the two consortiums fighting it
out for the casino license slated tobe awarded atQueen’sWharf in
theheart of the state’s capital city.
Melbourne-based Crown and Chinese property development
giant Greenland Group are proposing three luxury hotels, an
entertainment complex including a theater and cinema, aNeil Perry
restaurant and outdoor attractions highlighted by a water park and
a bridge across the Brisbane River to the cultural and recreational
precinct knownasSouthBank thatwill featureasuspendedwaterfall.
EchoandHongKong conglomeratesChowTai FookEnterprisesand
the Far East consortium have designed a core resort shaped in an
arc completewithfive luxury hotels (including aRosewood andRitz-
Carlton), anunderground shoppingmall anda “river arena” the size
of “12 football fields”outfittedwith cinemasandother attractions.
Echo says its existing Treasury Casino in the city would be
turned into aboutiquedepartment store.
The casino license, one of three the government is offering
statewide, is the key to both projects, which are expected to
transform the state’s tourism economy by creating magnets for
well-heeled spenders across theAsia-Pacific region.
“Thepointwas very stronglymade tousby international tourist
operators that this sort of integrated resort development is the
emerging product in the tourism market,” Deputy Premier Jeff
Seeney said.
Bidding rules, however, forbid both ventures at this point from
disclosinggamingplansandcertainother integrated features, such
as their residential components.
In the midst of what is arguably
the most challenging business
climate ever for Las Vegas Sands’
massive investment inMacau, the
company’s “bullish” new president
says expansion will be a priority
under his regime.
Goldstein, 59, who took over last
month from the retiring Michael
Leven, said, “I’m focused on
continuing to execute Sheldon’s
vision and the strategic objectives
laid out by our board and
management team”— marching orders that include “pursuing
newdevelopment opportunities”.
“There ismuchwork todo, but I couldn’t bemoreexcitedabout
theopportunities aheadof us.”
The Las Vegas resident hasmade a career of seeing new resort
casinos rise fromconcept tocompletion, spending 15 yearsworking
with new projects in the Caribbean and the United States prior to
joining LVS in 1995, four years before founder, chairman, CEO and
controlling shareholder Sheldon Adelson—“one of the world’s
greatest entrepreneurs,” in Mr Goldstein’s view—first made his
mark on the industry with the elaborately themed Venetian on the
LasVegas Strip.
As president of The Venetian and Palazzo and later as head
of global operations, Mr Goldstein specialized in developing
much of the non-gaming elements that make up the integrated
resort strategy that has been central to LVS’ success. Notably, he
is credited with expanding and refining the retail offering that has
proven so lucrative for the company on the Cotai Strip in Macau
and inSingapore atMarinaBay Sands.
But in succeeding Mr Leven as chief operating officer he will
havebigshoes tofill. The latter, aveteranhotelier, now77, hasbeen
on theboardofdirectorssinceLVS’ launchasapubliccompanyand
is one of Mr Adelson’s most trusted advisors. Mr Leven took the
helm in2009after theexit of the company’sfirst president,William
Weidner,who left in thedepthsof theGreatRecession, a timewhen
credit had frozen up worldwide, the company’s share price had
plummeted in the space of a year frommore than $100 to under
$2, and its sizable debt load engendered doubts about its viability
as a going concern. Mr Leven exerted a stabilizing influence, and
in that capacity was instrumental in righting the ship, shepherding
Artist’s impressionof the
proposed resort
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